The Proof is in the Pudding!
A beautiful pudding dessert
What does that mean?  This is an old proverb that has joined the microwave generation!
It has been clipped down from the original phrase which was: 
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating."
It means that the true value or quality of something can
only be judged when it's put to use or tried and tested.
The meaning is often summed up as:
"Results are what's not how you start, but how you finish."
(For this study...we aren't talking about 'instant pudding'! We are talking about the pudding that is cooked and stirred on top of the stove.... takes time !)
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Chalk board that says school days

In school we spent days, weeks, months, even years learning about a subject
but the real measure of the matter is whether or not you learned anything
when you were/are given a test!

Someone taking a test

( The Proof is in the Pudding!)
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"The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests hearts."
Proverbs 17:3

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The tests are the same with the Lord. He has been teaching us many things in His Word, in our prayer closets, in our every day walk. Here comes the TEST! When we are faced with trials, temptations, difficulties and all manner of testings how will we handle it?  If we have learned it well, it will show up in our reaction and our response to the trials and test that come our way!

Report card
We will pass the test with "flying colors!"
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Why does He test us?
Let's go back to the Book of Judges and the nations left to TEST Israel.
Judges 2:22
"so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept [them,] or not."
Judges 3:1
Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, that He might test Israel by them, [that is,] all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan
Judges 3:4
And they were [left, that He might] test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the LORD, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

How could God allow this to happen? They (Israel) had forsaken Him, yet He knew that at some point during their suffering, they would turn back to Him.
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Many of us are like Eeyore in our attitudes! We have become professional
"O Lord, I've been going around this mountain of testing for 'days, weeks, months, years...decades. Woe is me."
The Scripture says: Consider it all joy!
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"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have {its} perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing".
James 1:2-4

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The end result of choosing joy in the midst of trials, testings, and difficulties is that you will grow as a Christian. When your faith is tested and you pass the test, you gain endurance and you grow in the strength of your faith.
Little girl walking

When you first become a Christian, you're just a spiritual baby, so God gives you "baby step tests".  But the longer you walk with Him, the more intense the testings are - you don't think about the simple faith tests any more - you've grown above them, they don't shake you anymore. Your victory through the early testings produced endurance.
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Isaiah 48:10
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

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Testing involves turning up the heat, allowing afflictions. Often the Lord
 will use the ungodly to administer the test and sometimes those
 of your family and/or the household of God. But God....
God does not put us on the back burner and allow us just to sit and burn.
He stirs us and encourages us to stir up the gifts that are within us.

Pudding cooking on the stove
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2 Timothy 1:6
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
2 Peter 3:1
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in [both of] which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),

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  Much as we hate tests, they are really good for us.
That's why we should be able to pray:
Psalms 26:2
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me;
Test my mind and my heart.

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1 Peter 1:7
that the genuineness of your faith, [being] much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

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The Proof is in the Pudding!

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Psalms 34:8
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

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Shalom and blessings
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